Put on the blindfolds, turn on the potters wheels… this is “Big Girl Pottery class” (as my students call it!)
Mind you, I do not do this every class, just once a year or so. The blindfold class is to remind them the importance of listening to the clay. In losing our sense of sight, our sense of touch becomes heightened. It’s a real good reminder to focus only on the way that clay feels in our hands.
It’s also a lot of fun. Plus with a bunch of middle-aged women I of course hear the comments… like, what is this 50 Shades of Clay? Ooh, I wish Patrick Swayze were here… is that Unchained Melody I hear?
Yes Spring is in the air! I can’t believe a new set of ten week classes is beginning at the end of March. So, if you’re looking to try your hand at the potter’s wheel I still have a few openings!
Check out my website for the details.
The new 10 week session begins January 11th 2012!
I posted the new classes barely two weeks ago… a little late, but I’ve been a little pre-occupied with holiday sales. There are three openings left for Wednesday nights… Tuesday and Thursdays are filled.
Betterfly.com… a new thing out there on the world wide web… or maybe it’s old by now, and I’m just catching up! (The site was launched May 2010!) Well I just set up my Betterist page on betterfly.com! It seems like a pretty cool site if your a ceramics teacher, or any kind of individualized teacher for that matter… like yoga, fitness, dance, even math tutoring!
Just type in ceramics at the top search box and you get a whole list of teachers. You can narrow down your search to state, and distance. It’s like a website for your classes, with a calendar, and as much of a description as you want to include for your classes. You can even post videos, and photo’s.
Check out their history here.
Oh, and speaking of classes. The winter classes here at www.luciapottery.com begin Jan. 11th. Only two openings left for the winter session, and that would be for Tuesday nights.
I’m sitting here drinking a glass of sangria left over from my last class of the Fall semester. Yes, we drink in my classes… well not really, but sometimes on a last class someone brings in some wine to share with the food goodies we have at the end of every semester! Tonight my advanced class (aka Big Girl Pottery Class) finished up their glazing, and ate goodies, mostly of the Italian nature… artisan bread dipped in garlic olive oil (in my garlic grate bowl), marinated artichoke hearts that Dawn brought from Frigo’s Italian Deli in Springfield, and scrumptious olives from Greenfield’s Market. I made an Italian sausage and bean vegetable soup… and then cookies, and more cookies from the bakers in class. And of course Darlene’s very tasty sangria and fruit!
I really appreciate all my students, and I love the cycle of teaching them… and learning from them. For me, teaching is an integral part of my pottery.
Feels like the busy season is winding down. It’s time for learning more about my new camera, and taking some good photo’s of my work! Here is one from last night… working on getting the white balance just right… almost there… a little more tweaking!
More on the arts and the economy.
There is so much natural beauty here in Western Massachusetts, and so much happening in the arts. But the biggest and most exciting happenings are right here in Greenfield! Between the recent International Brick and Mortar Video Festival, to the huge state grant recieved for a performing arts center! Greenfield Ma. is in the midst of a downtown revival, thanks in part to the many artists, and musicians that live in the valley.
I recently read an article in Preview (the valley arts magazine) about Greenfield coming back to life. In an interview with Ed Wierzbowski, artist and entrepreneur, and major player in the downtown revival, (restoring two central Main St. historic buildings). Ed talks about the ripple effects of the creative economy. He was quoted as saying for every dollar spent on the creative side, five more are spent locally. I see how that happened here with my recent pottery workshop. Money was spent at the B&B’s, restaurants, local shops, and farms!
When I think about where I live, I think about the vibrancy of the arts and the beauty of this area known as Western Massachusetts. I ask myself how do I want to see this place in five years? Do I want a Wal-mart? Or do I want to walk downtown and go to a great restaurant, a concert, an art opening, or a movie? Do I want to shop at the small locally run businesses, or get on my bike to go buy apples from the local orchard, or maybe just take a walk and see the scenic views? I think the answer is pretty clear… when you live in a special place that tourists come to all year round, (especially the Leaf Peepers this time of year), you should keep that a place that people want to see, taste, and feel with all their senses!
I’ve just finished a one week intensive pottery workshop here in the lovely hills and valley of western Massachusetts. It is my second workshop for the year. Students have come from as far away as France, Canada, and Texas, New York, Boston, and Vermont. Someone recently asked me where the students are staying. I said, “Bed and Breakfast’s,” He said, “Boy, Lucy you are really a part of the local Arts and Economy.” I smiled proudly and said yeah I guess I am.
Between my workshops, weekly classes, open studio sales, and the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. I’m happy to know that what I do as potter/teacher contributes to the local economy.
Some pics below from our two field trips during the workshop. A View from the French King Bridge, the Green River and Barton’s Cove.
It was hot… 100 degree hot… stinking hot, by 3:00 the first day we were barely all standing. Tuesday morning I put an air conditioner in my studio! There was no other way to get through the days without an air conditioner.
What a full intensive week. My studio can only handle four students comfortably, and my philosophy about teaching throwing is that it’s best not to have any more than five students at a time. For this workshop I had three students, who had my full attention for five days.
The idea of a week-long workshop came about because a woman from France emailed me after watching my videos on you tube. Sara asked if I would give a week-long intensive, at that same time a man from Texas and a woman from Canada also inquired about week-long workshops… hmm I thought, must be something to this! I said why not. I put it up on my website and before you knew it I was teaching two, week long workshops. (one coming up in October)
The students learned a lot in a week, and I learned to have someone else make the lunches next time, and not teach my regular night classes during that week… Wonder woman does not suit me!
These students are from France, Long Island, N.Y. and Eastern Masachusetts!
- July Workshop, Joanne, Sara, Lucy, Wendy
I am in the middle of teaching a week-long workshop at my studio. We are also in the middle of a heat wave here in New England. Today was a real scorcher at 100 degrees, so at the end of our day we walked down to the river behind my studio to a favorite swimming hole. The Green River is rightfully named that because of the green clay found throughout the river. The water is such a gorgeous color green because of the light green color of the clay. My students gave themselves facials with the bentonite-like clay, and floated happily in the mineral soft water. They want to go back tomorrow at the end of our day, hopefully I’ll remember to bring a camera.